This one time at Writer's Camp…
The Weird American
I think I should have said that Eric and I will finish Murder World: Kaiju Dawn in August. For some reason, I keep thinking it’s May and I haven’t had my birthday yet. But never fear, for it’s being worked on at the moment. Well, not this moment, but as soon as I’m done working on this blog entry, I’ll be getting back to it. Made tremendous progress yesterday, introduced a rival mercenary company for Vincente and company to contend with for the bounty, and killed a character quite messily (kinetic energy death equals awesome). If I keep this pace up, the book could very well be done by Aug 6. We shall see.
I’ve been following the latest outbreak of open warfare in Israel this past week, and I have to admit I was kind of surprised that the overall tone in the media has not been of open condemnation of Israel. In the past, Israel has been roasted on an open fire for missile strikes after being attacked by rockets. Usually you see the dead Palestinian children paraded about (especially on BBC and al-Jazeera, the latter of which isn’t really a huge surprise) and no mention (or very little) of the damage and injuries the attacks from Gaza into Israel have done. It’s starting to be a sign that the world’s patience is running thin with the PA as even Secretary of State Kerry condemned Hamas for restarting the attacks after the time when the proposed cease-fire was to begin (interesting to note: instead of immediate retaliation, Israel waited a few hours this time. I think they’re catching on that social media is their ally, since news companies historically weren’t reporting the events fairly).
In Israel’s eyes, the problem is that Hamas still refuses to recognize them as a legitimate nation and, along with their financiers (Syria, Iran, etc), have sworn to drive them “into the sea”. As a newly sovereign nation reeling from the Holocaust in the 1950’s, I can see why Israel would be carrying a grudge and being wary of anybody who wants to exterminate them. It’s hard to break bread with an enemy to talk peace when all that is coming from the enemy’s mouth is “death to Israel!” In the past, it was the cause célèbre of certain individuals to blame Israel for overreacting when they were attacked by Hamas. For many Americans, it’s easy to think that Israel overreacts in their retaliations against Hamas, because we do not understand the concept of living under constant missile threat and attack. Our mindset isn’t built that way, because we think that if we fight someone, we fight until there is a winner, then go out and have some beers with the loser afterwards. The rest of the world doesn’t understand us, and we don’t understand the rest of the world because of it. So when Israel punches back, and Hamas comes running to the UN, old grudges rear their head and suddenly the idea of working out an agreement becomes a terrific time to settle old scores.
This is one of the reasons that I despise the idea of America being more like Europe. I have quite a number of colleagues and friends who think we should act like the Euros do, but I disagree. Considering that there are cultural hatreds which have lasted for hundreds of years in Europe (seriously… try getting a Swabian to like the Swiss, or vice versa), and the typical modus operandi of Europeans using organizations like the UN to either enrich themselves or hurt someone else over a perceived slight which occurred in 1954, Americans trying to be more European is a bad idea. We aren’t like them, and cannot be like them, because we don’t think like them. We’re not wired that way. I’m in agreement with Sarah Hoyt on this one — Americans, to the rest of the world, are weird. And this is a good thing.
If we were like the rest of the world, for example, the UN would do everything we told it to. Do you know why? Because the land that the UN uses as their headquarters has been used, rent-free, for the past 30 years. Could you imagine what that prime piece of NYC real estate is worth? And can you imagine if we started charging the UN for back fees, back rent, renter’s insurance, electric, cable, gas…? Man, that would be harsh if America really wanted to get their way and be as imperialistic as everyone thinks we are. I also think we’re at a disadvantage because we genuinely want to help others, and we’ll even put the interests of others ahead of our own sometimes, which freaks people out because what normal country does such a thing?! Yeah. Weird Americans.
Boy, that grew into a rambling diatribe. I need to get back to work.